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The 1950’s Fabulous Foursome! This   is   a   fan   site   of   the   original   Diamonds   of   the   1950s. All hailing   from   Canada,   they   made   their   way   to      the   U.   S., and   with   their   songs   and   energy,   endeared   themselves   to their fans forever.
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The   Diamonds   were   often   accused   of   diverting   royalties   from   (“robbing”)   black   groups.   There’s   much   more   to   this   than meets the eye: The   practice   of   covering   songs   was   very   prevalent   in   the   business   at   that   time.   For   many   decades   prior   to   the   advent   of Rock   ’n   Roll,   singers   sang   and   songwriters   wrote. That   was   just   the   way   things   were   done,   and   the   Diamonds   were   part of   this.   They   didn’t   write   songs,   they   just   sang   them.   In   fact,   they   were   surprised   to   find   that   some   singing   artists   wrote their own material. In   their   first   years   of   recording,   The   Diamonds   had   virtually   no   say   in   what   they   recorded.   They   were   a   new,   unknown group   who   considered   themselves   very   lucky   to   be   given   a   recording   contract   and   Mercury   told   them   what   to   record,   or gave   them   a   few   choices   (of   songs   selected   by   Mercury),   and   they   gratefully   did   what   they   were   expected   to   do. (Mercury   did   offer   them   a   choice   for   an   original   song   to   go   on   the   flip   side   of   “Little   Darlin”,   and   they   chose   “Faithful   and True”, which had been ‘pitched' to them by the songwriters themselves) Especially   early   on,   The   Diamonds’   records   appeared   mainly   on   the   pop   (white)   charts   while   the   black   artists’   versions were on the R & B charts. That changed somewhat as the group became better known. The   songwriters   themselves   benefited   greatly   from   the   Diamonds’   use   of   their   songs.   The   R&B   record   companies   didn’t have   the   distribution   capability   of   the   big   pop   companies,   so   many   more   copies   of   these   writers’   songs   were   sold   as   a result of the Diamonds doing them. All in all, The Diamonds only recorded approximately 17 “cover” songs as opposed to over 60 original and standards. Considering all these things, it seems unfair to level the charge of robbing against the group. For a list of songs that were covers and originals click here .
More on The Subject of “Covering” Artists and Ramifications Phil Levitt